Friday, March 21, 2008

Tournament time! Fresh, crispy bird!

This post is for a couple of reasons. I don't care if you're a big basketball fan or not, it's hard to not get excited about the NCAA basketball tournament. There's just something electric about the atmosphere, the fast pace, and the opportunity for smaller and less well-known schools to make a name for themselves.
Which reminds me of a day about (gulp) 12 years ago that a bunch of us got together, in a crappy house in Martinez, GA for the first day of the tournament. I remember (kinda) a bunch of beer, spitting lead shot out of quail, and how good it tasted. Maybe that was the inception of the blog, we just didn't know it yet. It was about sports, eating and drinking, and just generally having a good time.
Well, it's been a long time since then, although it's really hard to believe that it's been that long, isn't it? Enjoy the basketball, and while you're at it, why don't you try some....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's the apocaplypse...NOW! And there's nothing you can do it about might as well drink up!

God and Mother Nature must see more in this Dennis Felton than any of the rest of us. I don't know how else to put this other than to say that as the Dawgs were about to be kicked out of the tournament on Friday night by the Blue Thieves (otherwise known as the University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball team), Felton was packing his bags for what was sure to be his last game as a Bulldog.

Then-nature struck, and Cinderella was magically fitted with glass slippers.

ATLANTA (AP) - A possible tornado ripped through on Friday night, smashing skyscraper windows, sucking furniture and luggage out of hotel rooms, crumbling part of an apartment building and rattling the rafters of two major sports arenas filled with basketball fans. At least 13 people were hurt.

So, the game's cancelled. OK, so play it on Saturday, right?

So because they were unable to use Phillips arena as there was a Christian rock concert (Winterjam), they're moving the SEC tournament to a zit in the armpit of hell: Alexander Coliseum, otherwise known as "The Big Tit," Georgia Tech's home basketball court. OMG.
Felton's Dawgs have played there twice, lost 'em both. Due to scheduling, UGA got to play two games there in one day, unprecedented for the SEC tournament. And...
THEY WON BOTH GAMES! Beat UK in overtime, and then beat the Bizarro Bulldogs (Mississippi State) by 4. They're now in the SEC finals with a possible chance to make it to the tournament, having to play Arkansas tomorrow. Hope they get some rest, and leave the one chick that goes to Tech the hell alone.
The question for Dawg fans: does one day change 4 years of mediocrity? NO. But it's an interesting story.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One and Done!

The folks in Tuscalloosa are a fine bunch and myself and several Dawg friends made the journey to T-town this past fall for our game with the Tide. It was the first time I'd been since '95 when James Warner the UGA TE dropped a sure first down pass from Eric Zeier that would have allowed us to run down the clock. Of course 'Bama came back down and kicked a FG to win the game in the waning seconds.

Folks down there were awful nice and we had a ball at Houndstooth Sports Bar and I can recommend it highly for it's outdoor seating right on the strip in Tuscaloosa, cold beer, and lots of old Bama football paraphenalia.

Anyway, as OG notes those Bammer folks really like to do their "yellow hammer" cheer. FWIW the yellow hammer is the Alabama state bird. Why in the hell they do a cheer about it I have no idea.

Not suprisingly when Matthew Stafford, Knowhson Moreno, Mikey Henderson, and a whole host of Bulldawgs took the crimson clad masses into overtime the Bammers were warming up their vocal cords for yet another rousing rendition of the cheer noted in the post below. Fortunately my ears didn't have to see it because we were "one and done".

Bama comes to Athens this fall and we actually play them on my 35th birthday, September 27th 2008. I will be accepting gifts, salutations, and bourbon drinks from any and all attendees.

This blogger is headed to Driggs Idaho tomorrow for five days of fishing, skiing, and general mischief. Food, drink, and fishing reports upon my return. In the meanwhile I'll try and avoid this hot chick who was recently arrested in Driggs. For a town of 1300 sounds like they've got it going on.

Just a taste

I thought some of you might appreciate this. For those that don't know, this is a standard cheer at 'Bama when they beat someone (funny, we haven't heard "Hey Dawgs" in a while, have we?). This one is after the UT game this year.
Hey Vols, we just beat the hell out of you! Rammer jammer yellow hammer, give 'em hell Alabama!

Monday, March 10, 2008


To quote an 80's rap song by Digital Undergound . . . "so just let me introduce myself". Alas my name is not Humpty, I can't dance, and I never got busy in a Burger King bathroom. However, I am a long time friend, classmate, and colleague of the two rowdies that I believe gave birth to this small piece of the blogosphere. A very large tip of the hat to the JW and the OG for inviting me to contribute.

I don't claim to be an expert on anything food wise, drink wise, football wise, or any other wise. Fortunately for me and likely unfortunately for this blog I know just enough about these things to be dangerous.

Having seen today's post from the OG I feel obliged to espouse on the merits and unlimited benefit of the Big Green Egg (BGE). I've cooked on a wide variety of smokers/grills in my life including the following;

Weber Smoker (electric and non-electric)

A New Braunels Off-set

And finally the piece de resitance {insert funny french accents} my super sized, tow behind, large grill smoker big enough "to cook two pigs at once" {insert north florida 'neck accent as that's what the previous owner said when I bought it off of him}. This smoker had the privilege of being featured on the since departed Blue Ribbon TV show on Turner South. They did a show on tailgating at SEC schools and our tailgate and grill/smoker were featured along with a bunch of dead pig and chicken parts. That's me on the right and my beer on the left.

After many years and many, many cooks I've been absolutely BLOWN away by the versatility, the ease of use, and the quality of product you can produce on a BGE. I sear steaks at 800 degrees for but a few minutes, I slow smoke pork shoulders at 250 degrees for up to 24 hours, I direct sear veggies at 400 degrees, and a whole host of other options. No single piece of grilling/smoking equipment had been able to do what the BGE has done and the taste, texture, and moisture content is unaparalled in my opinion. I've got an expensive 4 cast iron gas grill that has gone untouched for 3 years. I'll never smoke or grill on anything besides me BGE ever again. It's the pinnacle, it's the top of the mountain, it's the evolutionary peak of mankinds use of fire to prepare food (politely ignore the fact they invented this process a thousand or so years ago in asia) . If you're not egging you're doing yourself a disservice.

Here's a couple of good links for all things egg related. First is which is the repository for all things egg related and has a great forum /message board that is very active in giving advice, sharing recipes etc. Next is by the famous poster from the aforementioned web page "Mad Max". Great resource for recipes, table design, and a FAQ page that is a must for any potential buyers and all newbie eggers.

As for me, I'm all set to add to my egg collection by buying a small BGE to complement my large thusallowing for cooking at two temps simultaneously as well as being small enough to travel with on camping/tailgating trips.

OG quit your deliberating, get yo'self an egg, and get to cookin'.

Gangsta grizill (ya dig?)

There's still snow on the ground here, and I wonder when spring will ever come. That said, I do have a deck that is missing a couple of key features. A new grill and/or smoker. The question is, what kind to get? I know some of the contributors to this blog have the big Green eggs and swear by them, others of you have gas grills and don't really make much comment one way or the other. We've all been to the local Grill store and seen some ridiculous multi-thousand dollar outdoor oven is nicer than the one I have inside. That's not really my purpose here. However, I do see the value in not skimping when it comes to stuff that you're going to use, especially stuff that's going to be cooking food for you and your family.
So if any of you had a couple thousand bucks to blow (which I really don't) on outdoor cooking appliances, how would you spend it? Would you get two grills? Would you Green egg and a gas grill? Would you even look at ceramic burners? I mean, come on, the weather is about to get warm, and we need to spend some time outside to get out of the house. We been cooped up now for a few months, where the average temperature seemed like it was 20°. I suspect that we'll have two weeks of spring, and then it will be 100° again, so we have to make the most of the good weather. Also, it's getting to be time for stuff like roasted leg of lamb, smoked pork, and you have to practice to get ready for things like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, et cetera.
Admittedly, there are far worse problems to have been trying to figure out what kind of grill I should get. I've been looking at some of the websites online, and noticed that if you did go out and order a big Green egg, the warranty is void unless you buy it at a local dealer. Ouch, that's pretty harsh, although it is an interesting way of cutting down on Internet commerce killing the profit of the local distributor. But, all's fair in love and war, and that damn local distributor has been overcharging all of us for decades, so I'm not really sure where I stand.
Here are the choices. Big Green egg, what size? I have access to a reasonably new three burner propane stainless grill that somebody was going to give me. Is that big enough? Do I need a side burner? The infrared burners which I thought were powered by electricity actually are powered by propane as well, and I hate dealing with tanks. Should I have the gas company hooked me up to a direct feed? Does the Weber kettle grill have any value today? It's easy to use and portable, the relatively heat inefficient and compared to the egg. This is what I think about in the middle of the night while I'm sitting around waiting for work to come to me.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Chimichurri for OG

I'm no Argentinian, but this is the chimichurri that I make at home (I just saw OG's comment on Goscar's post)

Leaves from one large bunch of FLAT LEAF parsley
5 garlic cloves
1/2 cup EVOO
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 T water
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Process parsley & garlic until finely and evenly chopped (about a minute using intermittent pulses); transfer to bowl and whisk in the remaining ingredients. I like to serve with skirt steak.
Makes about a cup